..lauds IGP, Ozo Chukwura, Henry Njoku, Farinto, others
…affirms NECOM tenure ends in April 2023
The National President of Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Chief Iju Tony Nwabunike has finally broken his silence on the recent sealing of the national secretariat of the association for the second time in two years.
In a statement signed by Nwabunike himself, he appreciated all NECOM members who through the trying period joined him in working tirelessly for our organisation, without being deterred by the activities of expelled members of the association who seem determined to bring the noble professional body down.
He specifically thanked the Board of Trustee (BoT) members led by the Vice Chairman, Chief Ozo Chukwura, the Patrons led by Chief Henry Njoku, National VP Dr. Collins Farinto, National Secretary, National Financial Secretary and other NECOM members who according to him showed their commitment to truth, fairness and loyalty to the association, all through.
Nwabunike commended Western Zonal chairman and the Compliance Team, saying the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali,deserves special commendation for his immediately ordering the reopening of our secretariat upon hearing all sides to the matter. “The IGP’s fairness and commitment to peace in ANLCA has been very instructive right from his days as AIG Maritime. It has also become imperative to rebuild confidence in our teeming members and reassure them of absolute reliability from my leadership,” he said.
He stated that there is no leadership tussle in ANLCA, saying “the real leader and recognised group that would never want ANLCA destroyed are known…The real ANLCA leadership and it’s known Board of Trustees who won elections would not be part of arson, wanton attack on the secretariat and pushing to get it locked up or rejoicing whenever it is sealed…”.
He disclosed that the ANLCA leadership under his watch is committed to the survival, growth and development of the association and will not betray the mandate given to it to lead the body which expires in April 2023.
He noted that after the attack on the association’s secretariat (Dikko Inde House) on October 6, 2020 by hoodlums armed with guns, cutlasses, charms and other dangerous items, “we lost over N20 million worth of property. Our members and secretariat staff on ground were beaten up and harassed by hired thugs in this incident
“While the police and our national officers are taking inventory of any loss or damage from recent attacks, without accusing anyone, some persons have started faulting our stock taking effort in a panicky display. We won’t watch our dear association destroyed while we fold our hands.
“Whatever lawful means available to seek redress and get justice is what we will perpetually be committed to,” he said, adding that a licensed customs agent is not expected to be a thug or promoter of thugs to unleash attack on the secretariat of the foremost body of professionals in customs brokerage in Nigeria.
He further said, “We are never part of the ‘if we can’t have it, let’s destroy it mentality’. My administration has always been open to reconciliation. In the interest of one united and indivisible ANLCA I hereby enjoin all our members across the country to continually be law abiding and report attacks or threats to attack them to the police. I also extend the olive branch again to our former members who show remorse and true repentance.” He hinted that the leadership of the association may review the various sanctions ranging from suspension to expulsion and grant the offenders amnesty for readmission, “if they truly change and resolve to abide by our constitution.”
According to him, this is not out of fear or cowardice and therefore should not be taken for granted because ANLCA NECOM which he is leading any form of indiscipline or lawless behaviour will not be cordoned.
He announced that the Dikko Inde House is open and functioning for the members of the association to use and operate “while as leaders we keep working towards a more peaceful and orderly body.
“ANLCA as a body of professionals shall continually pursue the interest of the national economy by supporting Federal Government ease of doing business and trade facilitation agendas
“Our attention must not be lost on key economic issues like the controversial Vehicle identification Number (VIN) valuation, abusive collection of samples from imported cargoes by agents of government, alleged wanton extortion along port corridor and within port
“We shall also support government initiative at ensuring regulatory and security agencies operatives abide by their appropriately specified Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) aimed at making our seaports, airports and approved border stations work in synchrony with international best practices,” Nwabunike disclosed.